Michigan’s Mazi Smith pleads guilty to weapons charge

Smith continued to participate on the team after the charges were announced.
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 2:54 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:55 PM EST
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WILX) - University of Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith accepted a plea bargain in his felony weapons case on Thursday. Smith pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of firearm possession.

Alongside his attorney John Shea, Smith appeared via video before the Honorable J. Cedric Simpson in Washtenaw County’s 14A-1 District Court.

Background: University of Michigan football player Mazi Smith charged with carrying a concealed weapon

Earlier this month, Smith was charged nearly two months after his concealed weapon was found during a traffic stop. According to court records, the incident occurred on Oct. 7 at Eisenhower Parkway and King George, two miles southeast of Michigan Stadium. Smith admitted in court that he was in possession of a Glock 19 when he was stopped and was not carrying it in a way authorized by law.

Smith accepted the deal and plead guilty to attempted possession of a loaded firearm in or upon a vehicle, a one-year misdemeanor, and/or a $1,000 fine.

What was not clear at the end of the court appearance was the mandatory forfeiture of the weapon. Smith’s attorney and the judge agreed to discuss that issue at a later time.

“Mazi was honest, forthcoming, and cooperative from the very beginning and is a tremendous young man,” University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said. “He is not and never has been considered a threat to the university or community.”

The stop came one day after Michigan’s win against Indiana and Smith continued to participate on the team after the charges were announced.

“I have respect for our judicial process and with that respect brings confidence that a fair and just resolution is forthcoming. Mazi’s character and the trust that he has earned over the past four years will continue to be considered throughout the process.”

Sentencing is set for Judge Karen Q. Valvo in the 15th District Court on Dec. 29.

Smith remains free on bond.

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